Lena Dunham for Marie Claire UK Magazine

Posted on August 29, 2013

We pray to all that is holy and fabulous that Miss Lena has learned a very valuable and important lesson here.


“Girls” star Lena Dunham covers the October 2013 issue of Marie Claire magazine photographed by Alexei Hay.

“My parents both have really healthy attitudes about their own bodies but also about the range of things that can be beautiful. But they also just always made me feel pretty and cool and smart, even in the moments when I have known – and still know – that my body wasn’t fitting into a traditional Hollywood idea of the female body.”

‘This could very easily be taken out of context, and I think it’s funny now, but I remember looking in the mirror as a kid and it would be like for an hour at a time, and I’d be like: ‘I’m just so beautiful. Everybody is so lucky that they get to look at me.’ And of course that changes as you get older, but I may have held on to that little-kid feeling that was me alone in my bathroom.”

Erdem Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Chiharu Okunugi

It’s okay to shoot for fabulous, honey. You’re more than capable of landing on it.

We know this isn’t really her style (and that Photoshopping was involved), but DAMN. Honey, go find yourself some makeup, hair, and fashion gays PRONTO. At the very least, that should be her default evening makeup for the foreseeable future.



[Photo Credit: Alexei Hay for Marie Claire UK, style.com]

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  • Random Compliments

    Holy Shit. You WERQ that hair and make up, girl.

    • pop_top

      YES. And I love the shoes.

      • teensmom99

        And of course clothes that are the right size and tailored. . . .

  • Barbara Thomas

    Lovely, but close your mouth.

    • NoveltyRocker

      I keep trying to remember for sure if it was her who made a pretty funny jab at the whole posing with lips parted thing on mag covers. Did they keep snapping her mid-sentence?

  • decormaven

    Whoever styled this shoot should get a Lifetime Achievement Award, because Lena is looking FAB here. Kudos.

  • lexilexi

    WOW. Eye makeup is her friend!!

    • Carla_Charlton


  • housefulofboys

    I really really cannot stand this chick, but I am forced to admit that these pictures are lovely. She has never looked better. And yes, Lena, you should stop talking now.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      And honestly, the twee look doesn’t suit her. I think they should have put her into something more sleek and sophisticated. But the hair and makeup look good on her!

      • mlle

        I think she could pull off twee, but she often lands in juvenile and ill-fitted territory. The second dress has a cutesy collar and a very girly, for lack of a better word, skirt, but it fits her and the stylists infused grown-up into the look with the shoes and makeup.

      • Adrianna Grężak

        Not surprised she was styled this way, given the title of her show

  • Sara

    She looks awesome and idgaf I LOVE her. Short hair really suits her.

  • MarieLD

    I think the lesson is “don’t be afraid of clothes that cover your shoulders.” she looks lovely.

  • formerlyAnon

    Yes. It’s not by any means ALL photoshop. Girl, take a note.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    She looks great here, full stop. Yeah, photoshop was involved but if this doesn’t make a case for properly fitted clothing, nothing will.

  • leahpapa

    Stunning. I appreciate that she still looks like herself but also like she’s giving herself permission to be conventionally beautiful. The collared dress was a nice scroll-down surprise, because at first I rolled my eyes at the twee but was quite pleased by the grown-up heel. Well done all around.

  • Mismarker

    Like Tina Fey, she is an unconventional beauty. Ms. Dunham has never looked better. Has everything to do with the hair and makeup. Sleeves help, too.

    • Mismarker

      Really? Hope this isn’t taken as “body shaming”. Just saying sleeveless or cap sleeves (a look she does very often) are not flattering on her.

    • Sobaika

      There isn’t a whole lot that is unconventional about Tina Fey’s beauty, I think. At least not when compared to Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Wanda Sykes, etc.

      • Mismarker

        I compare the two only because they are intelligent, largely self made women who have not hung their careers on their looks. They do not dress like this in their “normal” lives but, damn, they can clean up well.

  • sojourneryouth

    The stylist and makeup artist really played up what she’s working with, and she was photographed wonderfully. I think she knew she looked especially good when the photos were taken, cuz she’s definitely feeling herself, which is nice. I really can’t stand anything about her but her non-traditional looks, though.

    • Rhonda Shore

      Is that a smoky eye? ;-P

  • Trickytrisha

    Lovely. I don’t watch Girls, but do see her online a lot, usually looking frumpy and bored. I’m glad she’s got a healthy attitude about her looks, but wish she’d do more to align the way she presents herself with her positive opinion. In other words, let US see what YOU see in yourself, Miss Lena. This shoot is surely a good start.

    • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

      This is so well-worded: “let US see what YOU see in yourself” Probably the most succinct, clearest explanation of what personal style can be that I’ve seen.

      • demidaemon

        Last night, on WNTW, they set put a list of their rules. The number one rule was that clothes should give you joy and make you feel good about yourself/pretty/beautiful. I think Lena could take a lot from that, and maybe she picks clothes that purposely make her unhappy with the way she looks and are not flattering because she IS unhappy with her looks.

        Just some armchair psychology here.

    • Rand Ortega

      Brilliant assessment. “let US see what YOU see in yourself, Miss Lena.” Though, given how she usually presents herself, that might be at the heart of the problem. I get the distinct impression the bravado is a cover for her self loathing & dismay at her physical appearance. Which seems to be why she tries so hard to act like she doesn’t give a shit & how the jokes on all of us for enjoying beauty in its predominantly misogynist cultural conformity.
      But this is from someone who dislikes her, so my judgement may be clouded by my own, utter disdain.

      That said, she’s really serving up some gorgeous Rita Tushingham, 60’s IT Girl hotness in these pics.

  • Meredith

    I LOVE your realistic standards for her, T Lo. Lena, I relate. We can do at least that.

  • ccinnc

    Can Marie Clare style me, pleeeeeease?

  • Sarah

    I need to get whoever did this shoot for my wedding. I also suffer from not living up to my potential, and damn if they didn’t help her live up to hers. Whole other level!

  • Nicola Anna Molly Page

    She’ll never let herself be this pretty for too long. There’s no controversy in it.

    I know, saucer of milk, table 2. She bugs me.

  • alyce1213

    I’m glad she put herself in the hands of magazine artists — including makeup, hair, fashion, photography, (photoshop), etc. — just because she needs to break from the ill-fitting, inappropriate choices she’s made on her own or with her personal stylists. The open-mouth and duck lips poses rankle but she looks great in the clothes, the smokey eye really works, and her hair’s cute.
    But still I’m not a fan.

  • ashtangajunkie

    These photos are stunning. It would be nice if she allowed herself to look this good on a red carpet, but I’ll try not to get my hopes up. That eye makeup is killer on her.

  • Little_Olive

    Makes me like her less, actually. I feel instead of mending it, she has deepened the disconnect between her stance on beauty and the way she usually presents herself, which we have covered here a number of times.

    • alyce1213

      I get what you mean, but people evolve.

      • Little_Olive

        Just to clarify, I don’t mean that she is “not entitled” to be in full drag given her history. It’s just that I never would have assumed she thinks what she says she does by how she dresses and mostly her attitude. In short, knowing you are beautiful should not result in disdain towards the world of beauty, even assuming that you don’t have to conform with the paradigm.

        • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

          The way she presents herself often veers from self-acceptance to aggressively combative. That doesn’t “read” well. But… Hmm… Maybe sometimes being nice about it won’t work, maybe sometimes you have to say fuck it, get in battle ram stance, and get in everyone’s face about it. I think I just got it. She still looks fabulous here, and I’m all for that, but fuck anyone who thinks I shouldn’t wear socks and sandals. I didn’t think one way or another of her before, but now I think I stand converted.

  • Ashley Alvarez

    Is it just me, or does the cover remind you of a young Britney Spears…???

    • Alice

      I see Carrie Fisher

      • kimmeister

        That’s it – she looks like the lovechild of Britney Spears and Carrie Fisher.

  • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

    Aside from the constantly open mouth, she looks terrific.

  • Imasewsure

    This is fantastic and such a relief (we really do care about you darling, but you make it so difficult some times)…

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    Raid that Michelle Williams ‘twee as fuck’ closet with the scary sexy panda eyes, girl!

  • Jacquelyn

    If I had the body and money, I would live in that Erdem dress.

  • marlie

    Best she’s ever looked!

    But I still hate the open-mouthed pose.

  • MilaXX

    She looks gorgeous! I hope she sees these pictures and learns. There is no reason for her and Zoisa to always look so darned fug on the RC.

  • stubbornthoughts

    SHE LOOKS AMAZING!!!! Everything is working on her. I especially love that hair and dress on her.

  • DominoEstella

    ah.. but this should be her style. Especially the cover look. So great Lena!

  • Afabulous50

    Can’t stomach her, but she looks good here.

  • Trisha26

    But…this isn’t her style. Not saying she shouldn’t try a little makeup now and then, a blowout, or posh outfit, but these pics remind me of fashion/beauty makeover shows where every “victim” is encouraged to slather on tons of makeup & select clothes that “accentuate their waist” or feature a garish print.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    Her makeup and hair are FABULOUS. That one little getup with the white collar: Girl That Is Totally Your Dress.

  • Katesymae

    I fucking love her and I fucking love this spread. Goes to show that a little stylist help goes a long way.

  • Bexxx

    I hate her. Feelings aside, I just realized she looks JUST like James St. James.

  • quiltrx

    She looks terrific! And I love how great her legs look. So many things we see her in make her look stumpy, and obviously it doesn’t have to be that way!

    • EveEve

      Well, no. She can’t carry around Photoshop in her purse everytime she appears in public, and just waive it over her legs when they are being photographed.

  • SewingSiren

    More like (bad) paintings than a photographs.

  • Paula Pertile


  • DamH

    Except for too much mouth-opening involved, she’s really stunning here.

  • BitterOldQueen

    The black and whites are fine, but the cover has been Photoshopped with abandon. She has never ever looked like Princess Di, and yet here, through the magic of technology, she does. Lovely, and the makeup’s great, but it’s not actually a human person. Kinda shameful, and I hold Nina totally responsible…

  • filmcricket

    There’s just an utterly ludicrous amount of Photoshop going on here. I was thinking about this the other day: except for really bad screw-ups where they look plastic, I never notice the ‘shopping on people like Nicole Kidman; I know it’s there, but I just kind of assume that except for a few wrinkles and a bit of shine that that’s actually how they look.

    With people like Ms Lena here, or Christina Hendricks, it just becomes glaringly obvious. Because they’re not just “fixing” skin tone or straightening out a nose bump (which they’ve done on at least 2 of the pictures above). They are giving these women bodies they don’t have. They are shaving pounds off their chests, waists, and hips. It’s disgusting and depressing. And it’s no wonder we slam these women on the red carpet: yes they have terrible taste and could do so much better. But they’re never going to look like the magazine shoots because the pictures aren’t *of them*.

  • Aaminah Khan

    She…actually looks pretty. She needs to hire whoever styled her, like, yesterday.

  • H2olovngrl

    The black and white shots are gorgeous! We knew she had it in her!

  • Diego!

    I didn’t know it was her until her last picture! (I’m not a fan of her sitcom) This is the right way to go and you must follow it Lena!

  • SylviaFowler

    There is not nearly enough about her to justify the enormously high opinion she has of herself.

  • Chuck Barthelme

    Wow. She looks great! Clearly not dressing herself for this one.

  • mlle

    She sounds just like every other Oberlin grad I’ve ever met, except that she gets to put her soundbites in a nationally syndicated magazine instead of on tumblr. These are decent photos: very good styling, but she loses marks for the silly faces.

  • Hildegerd Haugen

    Wow, she looks great.

  • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

    really? i dont think she looks good on the cover.the editorial is pretty, though. and yeah, i realize its probably from the same shoot.

  • Janet B

    You are beautiful and a bit of well applied makeup will only enhance your beauty.
    (That and appropriate clothes that fit.)

  • Adrianna Grężak

    I respect that she is actively challenging mainstream culture to reexamine what’s considered beautiful and our obsession with our weight – but I get irritated because she’s only a couple of steps away from the “norm.” She’s Caucasian with standard facial features and smaller than the celebrities features in the Before/After sections in tabloids.

  • Dan_In_NYC

    Agree that it’s not really HER her from a style or personal vibe standpoint – but no denying she looks great. There are definitely elements of this from a fit, effort and energy standpoint that she should hang onto.

  • Danielle

    She looks absolutely fab. WERQ!

  • clairellis

    Holy shit, I might not have recognized her had it not been for the fact that you said it was Lena Dunham.

  • LauraAgain

    I love the cover dress! I would line the midsection (for me) but I am a big fan of polka dots on sheers. Ms Dunham looks lovely.

  • andreawey

    Yeah, she looks great but I absolutely love what she said about looking in the mirror as a kid, all little girls should be able to do this!

    • andreawey

      BTW I also know she’s gonna get a lot of shit about it, sadly…… but she can take it…..

  • guest2visits

    A beautiful cover, and yes to the hair and makeup styling. Also love how her legs look in these shoes and dresses.

  • aahlife

    A huge difference in her appearance that they photoshopped the shape and size of her nose – this is not her real nose in any of the photos. Her nose is longer, with a bulbous tip, and a v shape bottom. I take portraits for my work and I am a major photoshopper – I am guilty of making similar changes in people. It is interesting to me that the subject and others who sees these photos never sees the anatomic changes I make, but it is why my portraits are so successful.

  • kalisa

    I think the Very Valuable Lesson for her here is: It’s okay to wear clothes, Lena.

  • DeTrop

    Photographers are like plastic surgeons. They can make us look great or ugly. This is ‘great’. She should carry these pics around with her whenever she meets with a stylist. She’s never looked so good.